Granite coping prep & build help!

Ryan226

Member
Mar 17, 2021
10
Massachusetts
Pool Size
17500
Surface
Vinyl
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
Hey all,

First, thanks everyone for the help. It's great to find communities like this when you are starting a new adventure, definitely helps!

So we had a vinyl lined pool installed and we are going to try and tackle the patio ourselves. We plan to use a blue mist granite for the cantilevered edge coping
and then have a natural stone patio off that. And for good measure a water feature in one corner. I've posted some pre work images to hopefully help with any
questions. I can get additional pictures if needed.

So I have perused the forums, and I've found a lot of relevant information to lead us down the right path, but I do have some questions for my specific pool.
Starting with the coping: I'm going to get 1 1/4" thick thermal blue mist granite tiles to use as the coping. The one detail I intend to outsource is the cutting and bull nosing of
the granite pieces. I'll be making the coping templates myself with something like cardboard/poster board. My main concern for the coping is prep work for a long lasting
coping installation. My general thoughts on the prep (based on a lot of advice I've seen here) are to dig out the sand to leave enough room for 2-3" of crushed stone, and then a 4-5" deep concrete collar all around the pool. I'm planning for the granite coping pieces to overhang the collar by about an inch. Install granite coping, dig out sand where the natural stone patio is going to be, replace it with 4" of
crushed stone, maybe an inch of sand on top of that, and then the natural stone patio. Figured best if I number out my questions and see where things go from there.

1. Is the vinyl liner track that is installed appropriate for a granite coping? Originally we were going with poured concrete and changed our mind. We'll also be digging out a lot of sand unfortunately...
2. Do I need rebar in my concrete collar? I intend to add fiber mesh to the concrete mix. Overall the collar would be about 10" wide by about 4-5" deep.
3. Are my concrete collar depth sufficient?
3. Should I bring the ground wire closer in to be fully inset into the concrete collar?
4. How thick should the grout lines be between granite coping pieces? I want to be sure to get this right to get the templates right!
5. How thick should the mortar bed be for the installation of the granite coping pieces? Also important to choose the final height of the concrete height of the collar.
6. In one or two of the pictures, you'll see 4 tubes inset that are right near the pool wall. These were placed with the intention of filling them with concrete so that the
rock fountain water feature doesn't sit directly on the pool wall. I intend to keep this plan and also keep the concrete collar going all around the pool even in this area.
Does anyone see an issue with that idea to support the heavier rock foundation area?

I probably have a few other questions/points, but I feel like I'm getting a little too wordy for a starter message. Let me see where the feedback takes the thread and I'll
keep it updated as I plan, etc.

Thanks again for the help!

Ryan
 

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jamjam

Well-known member
Jun 25, 2020
614
NY
Pool Size
25000
Surface
Vinyl
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
Not an expert but I am DIYing my large stone coping right now. i did as much research as I could. i laid a 2” thick tamped bed of crushed stone around the pool under the collar. Rebar should not be needed if your concrete is 4-5” thick. i used 5k PSI concrete for extra durability. Fiber mesh is definitely a plus. Use as much mortar as you need to get the back slope you want. you want a modified large format tile mortar designed for natural stone. You can check out the media associated with my user profile to see the progress pics of what I am currently doing. My pool is a rectangle so my cuts are a minimum. Free form is gonna be a lot of work. edit: I see you are subbing out the stone cutting. Wise move.

also, I have my bond wire exposed in spots on each side in case I want to attach to it, but most of it can be under the collar if you want. make the width of the collar slightly narrower than the coping stones. This way it Is easier to lay them and you don’t worry about having to trim it back when you do the patio.
 
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jamjam

Well-known member
Jun 25, 2020
614
NY
Pool Size
25000
Surface
Vinyl
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
Also make sure your backfill is fully compressed. Especially close to the pool wall. Try to get the concrete to fill under the lip on the panels as much as possible to lock it all in. the concrete surface should be a bit rough, you can scratch it up for better adhesion later. Also vibrate or bang your forms to get the air out of the mix or you will get honeycombing which is less than ideal in cold climates as it can let water in that can freeze and crack. Make sure you let the concrete cure for at least a week. And keep it moist. I watered it 4x a day for a week. When mortaring, wet the concrete, if the water absorbs you are good, if it beads up you are gonna want to treat it with an adhesion promoter.
 
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Ryan226

Member
Mar 17, 2021
10
Massachusetts
Pool Size
17500
Surface
Vinyl
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
Hey jamjam,

Thanks for the info. I'll take a look at your thread for sure. Yeah, I have no interest in attempting all those saw cuts on a freeform pool! Worth the expense for sure.
Great ideas on the concrete, I'll definitely use them. Not sure I would have 'kept it wet', thanks for the tip.

Okay on the bond wire, I'll do something similar with leaving out some areas. We currently don't want to have rails/ladder since we have the large walk out steps. But
maybe we'll change our minds down the line and having those prepped spots accessible would make it possible.

For the collar height, I'd like to get it right up to the lip to avoid voids as much as possible. So if 1/4" of mortar is sufficient I can probably do that. The only major concerning
spot is the corners of the steps. Those voids will be a little more difficult to work. I don't want to mess with the structural integrity of the steps, but I thought to maybe cut
back some of the hard plastic so it sticks out as far as the pool walls, that way I have some concrete to mortar the coping to. Otherwise I'll probably have to use a thin layer
of adhesive around the steps area.
 

jamjam

Well-known member
Jun 25, 2020
614
NY
Pool Size
25000
Surface
Vinyl
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
i tried to get the concrete under the fiberglass steps as much as i could to varying effect - there is a little bit of give - what i plan on doing is drilling some random half inch holes and roughing it up - i will use mortar on the concrete collar but use construction adhesive on the plastic part - i cut little risers out of 1 inch schedule 40 that i had left over from my electric install that i will use to support the front of the stone on to bring it to the same height as the extrusion channels - when it is all done i will run some industrial silicone under it where it meets the steps to give it a nice finished appearance and cover any voids.
 

jamjam

Well-known member
Jun 25, 2020
614
NY
Pool Size
25000
Surface
Vinyl
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
the one thing i did that was above and beyond is i potted the bond wire connection to the outside of my light niche and where that bond jumper attaches to the pool wall (that connection is encased in the concrete collar) - this was above and beyond but i figured it was worth the $25 to prevent any corrosion at that connection point and to ensure a proper bond/ground (the bond wire attaches to the ground wire at the deck box so it is acting as both bond and ground) for the light.
 

Ryan226

Member
Mar 17, 2021
10
Massachusetts
Pool Size
17500
Surface
Vinyl
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
Good ideas, I'll look into those details a bit more and see what would work best...hoping to break ground in the next week or so. I'm sure more questions will pop up! Thanks
 

Ryan226

Member
Mar 17, 2021
10
Massachusetts
Pool Size
17500
Surface
Vinyl
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
A question about the liner track (pic attached). You'll see some of the gaps on the track have been caulked...and some used to have caulk but it broke off.
Is the purpose of this caulking to keep the mortar/glue/concrete/etc from getting into that track path for when the liner is someday changed out?

Just trying to confirm, as I'd probably redo all of it so the high point of the caulking sits flush with the track so that it doesn't mess with my coping heights consistency.
Of if I just remove it all and avoid getting glue where the track goes, same difference I suppose. Thanks

PXL_20210511_193439518.jpg
 

jamjam

Well-known member
Jun 25, 2020
614
NY
Pool Size
25000
Surface
Vinyl
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
my track was not caulked at all - i would knock those high points down and leave the rest in place - i don't think it will hurt. There should be no reason to change out the liner track, if you do then you are ripping out all your coping.

also, i didnt use any mortar on the track itself, only behind it and back - i plan on running some caulk between the coping and the liner track when it is all done to keep splash water from seeping between the track and the coping
 

Ryan226

Member
Mar 17, 2021
10
Massachusetts
Pool Size
17500
Surface
Vinyl
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
Cool, figured I'd have to knock those down at the very least. Not too hard, about half of them came off on their own!
But yeah, the track would stay, I mean replace a liner in the future. Thanks again
 

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jamjam

Well-known member
Jun 25, 2020
614
NY
Pool Size
25000
Surface
Vinyl
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
my tracks have no slits, they are straight, since yours is freeform those slits are to make it flexible, yeah i would try to keep the mortar out of the track, no need to use any mortar on top of the liner track, you have plenty of surface behind it to get adhesion.
 

Ryan226

Member
Mar 17, 2021
10
Massachusetts
Pool Size
17500
Surface
Vinyl
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
Great, thanks...it was originally going to be cantilever edged poured concrete patio, so probably explains the set up.
 

Ryan226

Member
Mar 17, 2021
10
Massachusetts
Pool Size
17500
Surface
Vinyl
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
So, have a hiccup in the pool coping project (well, actually pre-project). Since I am doing a paver patio, the town is requiring a copper mesh grid 3' out
all around. Currently, there is 8 AWG bare copper all around the pool, which I guess was enough before code update in 2020 (Massachusetts).
Electrician wants $4,000 to add the grid (which I've seen online for around $700 for 125' kit. So the question is, how easy would it be to install this grid
myself? Actually putting it down I'm not worried about, my concern would be properly tying it in?

Any help would be appreciated!
Thanks,
 

Liz315

Bronze Supporter
Jul 12, 2020
194
NJ
Pool Size
15000
Surface
Plaster
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
Pentair Intellichlor IC-40
Your liner is beautiful can you share what it is it makes the water color so pretty. Also what color steps did u get they match perfectly. Great job.
 

jamjam

Well-known member
Jun 25, 2020
614
NY
Pool Size
25000
Surface
Vinyl
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
So, have a hiccup in the pool coping project (well, actually pre-project). Since I am doing a paver patio, the town is requiring a copper mesh grid 3' out
all around. Currently, there is 8 AWG bare copper all around the pool, which I guess was enough before code update in 2020 (Massachusetts).
Electrician wants $4,000 to add the grid (which I've seen online for around $700 for 125' kit. So the question is, how easy would it be to install this grid
myself? Actually putting it down I'm not worried about, my concern would be properly tying it in?

Any help would be appreciated!
Thanks,
extremely easy - you can tie it in with direct burial split bolt connectors - also what code are they using?

looks like the 2020 revision allows for either a bonding loop or a grid - tell the town your loop is in code if they are using the NEC

 
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Ryan226

Member
Mar 17, 2021
10
Massachusetts
Pool Size
17500
Surface
Vinyl
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
Wait, so the 2020 code says my 8 awg is actually compliant? If so the electrician straight up lied to me to try and get the extra work. He referenced 2020 code. I'll detail this later from a computer. Doing my own recon now, thanks!

Thanks Liz, we love the water appearance from the liner! I'll dig up the color for you, just need to find the paper work.
 

jamjam

Well-known member
Jun 25, 2020
614
NY
Pool Size
25000
Surface
Vinyl
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
it is kind of confusing, but from what i can tell you have the option, either a continuous 8 or lower gauge loop OR a grid with specific characteristics - notice how section B of 680.26(B)(2) Perimeter Surfaces (the ring) and section C (the grid) are both for the exact same scenario - if the grid is required then what would be the reason for the ring? The answer is because you have the option of either B or C when there is no rebar available for attachment.

(b) Copper Ring. Where structural reinforcing steel is not available or is encapsulated in a nonconductive compound, a copper conductor(s) shall be utilized where the following requirements are met:
(1) At least one minimum 8 AWG bare solid copper conductor shall be provided.
(2) The conductors shall follow the contour of the perimeter surface.
(3) Only listed splicing devices or exothermic welding shall be permitted.
(4) The required conductor shall be 450 mm to 600 mm (18 in. to 24 in.) from the inside walls of the pool.
(5) The required conductor shall be secured within or under the perimeter surface 100 mm to 150 mm (4 in. to 6 in.) below the subgrade.

(c) Copper Grid. Where structural reinforcing steel is not available or is encapsulated in a nonconductive compound, copper grid shall be utilized where the following requirements are met:
(1) The copper grid shall be constructed of 8 AWG solid bare copper and be arranged in accordance with 680.26(B)⁠(1)⁠(b)⁠(3).
(2) The copper grid shall follow the contour of the perimeter surface extending 1 m (3 ft) horizontally beyond the inside walls of the pool.
(3) Only listed splicing devices or exothermic welding shall be permitted.
(4) The copper grid shall be secured within or under the deck or unpaved surfaces between 100 mm to 150 mm (4 in. to 6 in.) below the subgrade.
I am actually quite certain my interpretation is correct - in fact if you compare it to the 2017 NEC which only had 2 sub sections, A and B, for a structural grid and an alternative (the loop), in 2020 they split sub section B into two (now B and C) both of which are alternative bonding methods where structural reinforcing steel is not available. You are 100% good to go unless your town uses their own code supplementation.
 
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Ryan226

Member
Mar 17, 2021
10
Massachusetts
Pool Size
17500
Surface
Vinyl
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
Thank you for the knowledge. I'll definitely speak with the town directly after I ask them what they use for their code source.
 

Ryan226

Member
Mar 17, 2021
10
Massachusetts
Pool Size
17500
Surface
Vinyl
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
So, the information I had received is straight from the electrician. He had forgot to put a ground rod last year and when he came to do it, he mentioned the code had updated
and we'd have to add the copper mesh grid, specifically because we are doing a paver patio (which won't have rebar structure underneath to tie into like a poured concrete patio).

After reading the NEC 2020 bonding section, the 8AWG wire is still an acceptable method, and their is no mention of 'types of patios'. It's only specification is "unpaved surfaces and other types of paving".
The only detail I see as an issue is the 8AWG wire is close to the pool shell in some areas, where it should be 18"-24" away, which I can move back as necessary.

I'm going to start with finding out what they use as code, and then call them for an inspection as is, and see what they say while armed with the actual code (hoping they use NEC 2020).
 

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